Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What's on your mind?

"What's on your mind?" That's a seemingly ubiquitous question now that we live in a world of Facebook where every time one visits the page, you are faced with that probing question.

What to say? What to reveal? How to word it so that my friends and those viewing my wall will have their curiousity piqued versus a reaction of "that poor S.O.B.--such a pitiful life he leads."

A group called Buddy Media researched the making of a good wall post on behalf of companies and individuals, trying to determine which lengths, which days and even which times were best for engaging viewers of the site. Here's what they found out:

- Posts of 80 characters long or shorter cause a 27% increase in engagement. Thus, the adage of "give me the headline" seems to be true here.

- Posts made outside of business hours caused a 20% increase in engagement. Does this mean that employers can rest easy, knowing that their employees are more dialed into Facebook away from work versus at work?

- Posts on Thursday or Friday were likely to cause an 18% increase in engagement. Hmm...getting ready for the weekend, perhaps?

- Posts that end with a question cause a 15% increase in engagement. What's that you say...?

What decreases engagement? According to Buddy Media, there is an 18% decrease in engagement if the post is on a Saturday versus other days of the week. In other words, don't screw around with Saturdays. And, the weekend hangover causes a decrease in engagement as readers are 3.5% less engaged with posts on Monday through Wednesday versus other days of the week.

There you have it--lessons for those struggling with how best to answer "what's on your mind?" Go forth, Facebook posters, and write great things (but just do it on Thursday or Friday and make it 80 characters or less, ending with a question.)

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